Whitehouse Primary School

“The new classroom block has provided much needed additional classrooms which have been well received by the many children and teachers who use them. A big thank you to our partners at Concertus, SEH French and Whitehouse Primary School for their efforts in bringing this project to life.” Paul West, Suffolk County Council cabinet member for Ipswich

The Brief: Whitehouse Primary School had been formed by the merger of the Whitehouse Infants and Junior schools in 2010. However, it had relied on temporary buildings since then and as the school was continuing to grow, there was a need to extend the school with a standalone building.

The Scope: A feasibility study was carried out by Concertus and a decision was taken to construct a new teaching block on the school’s existing hard play area. The annexe would provide six additional classrooms; three of which would be form entry, a group room and a staff area.

The hard play area which was built over, was re-created elsewhere on the school grounds. Throughout the project, we had to work closely with the school. The existing main entrance was replaced with a temporary entrance for the duration of the project. This impacted existing school operations and new procedures had to be provided, such as fire drills and evacuation protocols. There was also an area of artificial grass provided as the hard play facility couldn’t be provided until the end of the project.

One special aspect Concertus designed into the project was using glazed brick panels within the walls. Although the result looked amazing, the construction was very challenging as the ‘special’ bricks had to be purchased to the exact amount and the brick layers had to follow the drawings exactly.

The Result: The new extension for Whitehouse Primary School received a Highly Commended from the Ipswich Society in its annual awards’ ceremony, who recognised the project as: “An energetic, engaging addition to the school environment. It is fun and joyous in relating the colour and texture of the materials to the classes within, for pupils to enjoy texture and shape in the solid form of their own building.”

Whitehouse Primary business manager Cath Anderson said: “the new extension was liked by the staff and the children.”